Staff Report #5
June 26, 2019
To All Commissioners
Re: 2019 Road Construction Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
LTC administration has been working closely with civic administration as well as the specific contractors on each major construction project to ensure regular communication regarding the status of the projects in an effort to mitigate the impact of construction on service and ridership by allowing buses to operate in work zones where it is deemed safe to do so. LTC administration attends weekly meetings with civic administration specifically to discuss the impacts of ongoing and upcoming downtown construction projects.
In addition, a communication strategy has been developed and implemented with respect to service interruptions in an effort to ensure passengers and Bus Operators are aware of the detours with as much advance notice as possible, including stop level notifications of upcoming closures, website and InfoWeb alerts, Twitter and internal Marlin postings.
Wilton Grove Road
Phase II construction on Wilton Grove between Highbury and Commerce Drive continues with the original detour still in place as a result of Phase I remaining closed to traffic. This results in no service to the east end of the route along Commerce, Max Brose and Cheese Factory Road. Finishing work is still continuing on Phase I of the project with paving on Phase II awaiting completion. At time of writing the new scheduled completion date is July 2, 2019.
London Transit has also been notified that an additional construction project will be starting east of Highbury to Commerce Road after the current work is completed. The work will be completed in five phases with Phase 3 impacting transit operations most significantly. Phase 3 will have the intersection of Wilton Grove Road and Commerce closed for approximately two months again resulting in no service to the Commerce, Max Brose and Cheese Factory area. London Transit continues to work with the City of London and the contractors to determine if a safe stop location east of Highbury can be established during the construction to provide closer transit access to the businesses in this area.
In addition, road work is scheduled on Pond Mills Road between Buchanan and Enterprise during the 2019 construction season in six month intervals for approximately three years. London Transit administration has been working with civic administration to ensure this work is coordinated to start after Wilton Grove is reopened as another significant detour will be required on Route 30.
King Street Cycle Track
The King Street Cycle Track was officially opened on June 13, 2019. While the impacts during the construction of the ‘transit islands’ is no longer a concern, London Hydro has been completing work in this area which has resulted in the temporary closure of ‘islands’ at Richmond and Clarence as well as additional congestion in the area due to all traffic funneled to a single lane. This work is anticipated to be completed by the end of June.
In addition to the service impacts related to the construction, the ‘transit islands’ along King Street continue to present ongoing operational issues including cars blocking the Islands. This has resulted in only one bus being able to service the ‘islands’ at a time, further impacting schedule adherence as often the second bus has to wait an additional light cycle before being able to access the stop. In addition to cars blocking the access to the stop, delivery vehicles have also become a problem, most often at the layover location at King and Clarence.
Safety concerns have also been raised by Bus Operators as some of the ‘islands’ are very close to the intersection resulting in the back of the bus blocking the intersection when it is serving the stop. This is most problematic at King and Richmond with southbound buses on Richmond turning left onto King without the ability to clear the intersection if another bus is already at the ‘island’. In order to ensure the bus is not blocking the intersection, Bus Operators have to pull forward resulting in accessibility issue as the front door is no longer on the raised platform.
London Transit continues to work with civic administration to resolve these issues, however due to space constraints and the necessity to ensure access to driveways/laneways along the corridor, possible solutions are limited. Additionally, administration will continue to monitor the schedule adherence concerns and assess, through the planning process, if additional running time is required to maintain service reliability.
While construction throughout the downtown, including York Street, Dundas Place and Talbot Street, do not have a direct impact with respect to detouring off regular transit routes, increased traffic along King, Queens and Richmond has had a significant impact on schedule adherence for all routes travelling along these corridors. As with many of the other ongoing construction projects, detouring routes is not an option as there are no viable alternatives to maintain service within the downtown. Adding tripper buses only adds to the congestion and has little impact on improving schedule adherence. Administration will continue to monitor the impacts on schedule adherence and provide service updates through the corporate Twitter account as appropriate.
Richmond and York Intersection
Work in the intersection of Richmond and York is scheduled to commence on July 2, 2019 and continue until mid to end of September. The work will require all north/south buses to be detoured to Horton and Wellington. This will result in all southbound stops between King and Horton and all northbound stops between Horton and Queens on Richmond being closed for approximately three months. Advance notification of the upcoming closure will be posted on all affected stops and administration will be communicating the detours via the corporate website and social media accounts, providing updates as appropriate.
Construction on Wharncliffe Road between Springbank and Elmwood commenced in mid-April. While no detours are required for the duration of the project, slow-downs resulting in schedule adherence delays have occurred on Routes 11, 12 and 26. The project is currently scheduled to be completed by late June and administration will continue to monitor impacts on the affected routes.
Oxford and Talbot Intersection
At time of writing the traffic signal rebuild at the Oxford and Talbot intersection was scheduled to commence on June 24, 2019 and is anticipated to continue until mid-August. As with the previous manhole work at this intersection it is anticipated that there will be significant slow-downs impacting schedule adherence on Routes 17, 20 and 91 with the potential to also impact north/south travel on Wharncliffe due to traffic backup.
Highbury Ave North
Work has commenced on Highbury Ave North between Dundas and Trafalgar for a mill and pave project. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by mid to end July. At this time, it is not anticipated that the north/south routes will have to be detoured, but slow-downs are expected. Route 7 at Florence and Highbury as well as Highbury and Brydges will have to be detoured during the period of work at the intersections only.
Construction on Cathcart started on April 8, 2019 and is scheduled to be completed on September 27, 2019. The road work requires Route 15 to detour onto Edward. The impacts have been minimal to date and have not resulted in any additional schedule adherence delays.
Road rehabilitation on Wellington Road between Commissioners and Southdale commenced on June 18, 2019 and continue to mid-August. No detours are anticipated at this time; however impacts to schedule adherence are expected on Routes 13 and 90.
Wharncliffe Road South
Road rehabilitation work commenced on Wharncliffe Road South between Campbell and Exeter on June 18, 2019 and is expected to continue through mid-July. Schedule adherence on Route 28 is anticipated to be impacted by the work.
Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager